19 Jan Safe
“Safe”Written by N.M. Brown Edited by Craig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek Narrated by N/A
Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).
🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available
⏰ ESTIMATED READING TIME — 10 minutes
My chair tilts back as I scroll through the horror forum posts. There’s not one thing that I’ve read or watched that has so much as quickened my heart rate. I dejectedly set my phone aside, knowing there’s nothing I’ll find here. Horror’s not like it used to be. Conceptual horror seemed to shift from when I was younger. We went from ominous monsters and creepy basements to the attack of one’s own mind. When something decent comes out, it becomes so rapidly oversaturated that it’s ruined.
The whole world’s desensitized. The imaginations don’t believe as they did in the older horror era. It’s all real-life events, psychological scares. Some victims’ worst day of their life told aloud for listeners and readers to sit in the dark eating their popcorn to, eyes alight with excitement. You want real horror stories, turn on the news! There’s horror, misfortune and tragedy everywhere.
Killing time, I go online and look for people with the same problem. Fearing I’m deadened inside, I need to find something, anything that rattles me. Plus misery loves its company. I need to know I’m not the only one that’s stuck in this rut. Though not what I was looking for, I came across a term called Lucid Dreaming. It’s basically how to take control over a situation in your dreams. How to recognize you’re in a dream, how to best react, etc. Some exercises are supposed to help the anterior prefrontal cortex of the brain to achieve this.
I decided to try it out. My mind fights to clear itself as I try to sleep. The pull of sleep begins to win its fight against the failures and successes of the day as I peacefully drift away.
I wake up in my bed, in my room…but it’s not my room. Everything basically looks the same, just a tinge different. It’s similar to a life where red means go, and green means stop. Not to that extreme opposite, but still as different. My floor is bare, swallowed in cold cement, almost like a basement would be. A silhouette is crouched in the corner, illuminated by the moonlight’s glowing kiss. Upon being noticed, it rises and starts to approach me.
Its retreat from the shadows reveals its full form to me. It’s not human, or a he, or a she. Standing before me is a large flesh-colored mass. There are eyes of every color and shape. Some are crying sadly while others glare with bright hot hatred. They all look so familiar, but I know this can’t be. There are holes throughout its…face? Yes, face. Upon closer inspection, I see that they aren’t holes. They’re mouths, tiny mouths to go with the many eyes to make up little, terrible faces.
It grows taller and taller the closer it gets to my bed. I’m too distracted by the familiarity of this thing to show any emotion truly. Those faces, I recognize one now as my Grandma Hilly, another is my first true love, the teacher that I loved the most, one face I thought I’d never have to see again, another was my childhood bully. They went on like that. Some were faces that caused me fear, and others were ones that brought me happiness but now held expressions disgustedly heartbroken and hateful. It pains me to witness. I refuse to look. I know I don’t care what it wants.
My feet fly out of bed, and I run past the creature. His breath hits my back with an overwhelming scent of fish and garbage. I am taking back control of my mind, my dreams. Okay, so now I’m out in a hallway. What next? It’s at this point where I become instantly paralyzed inside of my body. No, I don’t mean that I slumped to the floor or lost control of all functions. I mean, my body’s moving, my feet are walking, but I’m not making it happen. I approach a big black door, and my feet take me through it.
The first room is empty; its wall a navy blue. I see nothing but can hear voices….. so many voices, all of the ones that I know. I want to rupture my eardrums, scream to drown them out, anything! I heard the voices of all of the boyfriends that have broken my heart. Every hateful thing anyone had ever said behind my back or thought about me during a conversation.
My grandma Hilly is asking where grandpa Harold is, sobbing with heartbreak between each word. “He’s supposed to be here…where is my Harold? He promised he’d wait for me. I don’t want to be alone. I’m so cold. I can’t see. Where is ANYONE?”
Her words and sobs break the core of my very heart. The volume of my voice tests its limits, trying to scream to her. “Don’t cry! You’re not alone, Nona! I’m here!” The wall is freezing as my back slumps down it to the floor.
Then I hear my mother and father’s voices. My father wasn’t the man I shared DNA with, and he hated me for it. I inherited my mother’s lover’s eyes, and he wanted to hit me every time he looked into them. My mother hated me for being the permanent bruise on her perfect apple of a marriage…of a life.
My teachers who encouraged me all said I wouldn’t amount to zip. The girl who took my virginity was talking about how terrible it was. She said she lied about it being her first time, and I was by far the worst. I exited to the hallway, happy to be out of the room but terrified of what awaits.
The next room is the family room. I let visions take over and weep until my sides are sore. I see myself happy, holding a wife with a swollen belly. It’s a baby boy! He grows before my eyes into the sweetest looking toddler.
But, then I see his deaths. I have to watch him die over and over again in horror. The very worst scenario is being on Halloween. A woman that I came to recognize as my have-yet-to-be-met-wife was dressed as a Viking warrioress, fake long sword and everything. Our son is admiring her and squealing with pride. We’re all smiling and about to head out to gather candy.
My wife steps in front of us and blocks the front door. She draws his sword with a smile. She then impales the boy’s chest with it, pinning his body to the door. I see the woman I love cry out in triumph, gurgling from our son’s blood in his roaring mouth.
Many different ages and circumstances led up to his death, but it was always the same boy, my son. I created and brought a beautiful, pure and innocent soul into the world just for him to get torn down like a kite in a lightning storm. My heart breaks so much for this little being who never even existed to me before this night. It feels like a hand crushes my heart every time I see him sad, angry, hurt…dead. I can’t watch, but my eyes won’t let me look away.
Another room brings a different woman, which my heart already knows well. My college fiancée Erin is perched on a huge, single mattress, dirty and stained. She is on her knees, and in front of her is an equally naked woman. She’s wearing a masquerade ball mask, and her skin is streaked with blood. It’s fresh in some spots, dry in others. Erin has blood on her body too.
They’re going at it like a couple of feral animals. They flip and rearrange, biting and slapping at each other until they almost don’t even look like people anymore. A sob escapes my broken lips. Her head whips around towards me, and suddenly, she has the face of a sheep. What the living Hell is this?!?
Then there’s what I can only call ‘the devotional room.’ It’s filled with religious pictures that have been perverted and darkened with time. There’s every theological figure in existence, not just God. I saw Buddha, Isis, Shiva, Jesus, Lillith and several more that I didn’t recognize.
In the middle of the wall was a single red cabinet. The cabinet door had a sign on it that read, ‘Open for a Taste of The Afterlife.’ Okay, now this is just getting stupid. I open the door with rolling eyes and slight disdain and look inside. What I see leaves me breathless. I can almost feel my soul deflating like a dark balloon, the air of all my past beliefs hissing out one by one. There was nothing, just complete blackness.
I hear the creature’s voice booming throughout the room. “Albert, Heaven is just the North Pole for adults. You see, all those poor souls who live hard, unfair lives are greeted with nothing. The children taken too soon aren’t carried off into an infinite toy land up above. Your grandpa Harold wasn’t waiting for grandma Hilly when she died. What you heard were her dying thoughts, her last brain impulses. There was no one, NO judgment. There is no reward for the righteous. The meek don’t inherit the Earth. You live, and then you die and nothin’ in between means a damn thing.”
The sound of its laughter bounces off of the walls around me.
When I close the cabinet door, I hear a click inside of the wall. The sound of it echoes through the chamber like a mournful cry. A blaring alarm goes off, and red liquid starts dripping down the surrounding walls in such a way that perfect X’s form over each picture. As soon as I can breathe again, I run out, slamming the door behind me.
The door behind me to my left opens. I turn around with dreadful trepidation. My feet guide me towards it in mental betrayal; the connection between my brain and my feet severed. The light from within the room shines into the hallway—flecks of dust dance through the air in front of the doorway. My mind takes me right back to childhood. I can remember dancing in the ‘sunshine dust’ as it floated through the diamond shape of our door window. My mind barely succeeded in distracting me when I remembered where I was.
The room has brown carpet and bright yellow walls. My eyes widen at the cheeriness of the atmosphere. I don’t understand, but I can’t say I’m not pleased. There are animals here, all cats and dogs. The relief of muscle control slowly returns to my face. Maybe lucid dream therapy is finally working.
A wide smile spreads across my lips. These, all at one time or another, were pets that had belonged to my family when I was a kid. There is Paka, our white Husky mix that we had when I was nine. He died after getting hit by a car, but he is healthy and happy here. His tongue sticks out just like it always had when he was alive. I see my German Shepherd Cubby, who had died of old age, agile and running around like a puppy.
My heart leaps as I see a black and white fluffy figure saunter towards me. She was my favorite pet, my cat Dilly. I had her for most of my teenage years. She had an attitude just like mine, and only I was allowed to interact with her. My hands run through her fur lovingly as I take her into my arms. As soon as my knee hits the ground, she affectionately rubs against it. It’s been years since I’ve pet her, but my hands’ muscle memory groomed her fur as no time has passed.
The light glints off of her bright green eyes, and she mews at me. As I’m petting her, wisps of fur come off in my hands. It’s slight at first but then increases to heavy clumps. I stop petting her, but it continues to shed from her skin. Her meows distort, and one of her eyes starts to drift. What the fuck is this? Her freshly bare skin softens rapidly in my arms. A smell hits my nose that instantly waters my mouth with nausea. She decays until there’s nothing left but a mummified feline corpse in my arms.
The carpet around my feet turns to fur, its firmness melting to a spongy softness. The animals around me on the floor are decaying rapidly, and I realize that the carpet (now fur) is a mass of gore, death and decay. The floor pulses like it’s breathing, and again I leave as fast as my feet will let me, desperately trying not to sink into the muck. I now dreadfully realize exactly what I’m dealing with. It’s a never-ending hallway of doors. They all lead to different scenarios, each more horrifying than the last. I fall to my knees in utter despair.
Seizing the moment while I’m in control, I stand. The periphery of my vision swims, but my knees hold firm. My fear begins to evolve. The frozen grip holding my heart melts away with the fire of rage. “This is all lies! I’m not even awake! You can’t really hurt me. You can’t hurt my family. They’re already gone!” My voice quakes with an unrecognizable intensity that takes me by surprise.
After a series of gurgly breaths, the mass speaks. “Oh, no, siree.” A grey tongue slicks over the lips of the main open maw. “They ain’t gone, not from here.” A lumpy appendage motions towards my temple. “People live on through the memory, and that’s why I’m here. I’ve come to take the one thing that you think truly belongs to you.”
My eyes narrow. I’m trying not to show that I’m slowly losing my nerve. “Well, while that is terrible, it’s likely to happen when I get older anyway. You can’t scare me with what I won’t remember!” My voice is still confident, but not as loud this time.
The eyes stop their activity and leer at me in unison. It starts to glide towards me. “Wrong again, you will always remember. Everything you see here will be the only thing you will ever remember. Your brain is like wet cement that I get to imprint on in any way I’d like right now. Once the cement dries, the blueprints are frozen forever.” The thing’s face morphed into various faces of people that I loved and admired through life with each sentence that it spoke. Their tones were all hateful. Their cold and glaring eyes bore through me, causing me to feel a great pain that I can’t quite localize.
All breath is robbed forcefully from my lungs as if suffering a heavy blow to my back. The pain of trying to breathe is excruciating, but the panic of my suffering lungs hurts even worse. My joints twist and contort with sickening cracks. If I could breathe, I would be screaming right now.
Boiling tears escape my eyes. Searing burns slide with them as they cascade down my face. The thing bellows voraciously with laughter. “You’re hurtin’ right now, aintcha, little man? Isn’t that something? All twisted up like a pretzel with a barbecued face.” I notice the closer it gets to me, the larger it becomes. Before long, the creature is looming over me.
“Out of all the ways you messed up, do you wanna know what your biggest mistake was? All along, you thought you were desensitized to fear. You just allowed your mind to become complacent. Honestly, it was never that you were numb to the fear. You just made the dangerous mistake of thinking you were safe.
I woke up from my Hell about four days ago. Since then, I haven’t been able to leave the house. Erin calls, but I do not need to talk to her. Not after all that I’ve seen. This was a mistake. I would give anything to go back to the way I was. You see, now I’m fearful of everything. Nothing will ever seem safe. The creature’s eyes are in everyone I see, and its final words echo infinitely in my head like a second train of thought.
“You just made the dangerous mistake of thinking you were…safe.”
Be careful while attempting lucid dreaming. You never know if you ever truly come back from it.
🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None AvailableN.M. Brown Edited by Craig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek Narrated by N/A